Recently, I have realized how frustrating it is to deal with the medical community. For example, my dentist’s office is only open Monday through Thursday. I find that very frustrating. A professional medical office should be open 5-6 days a visit with dentists or doctors rotating so they all get the time off they need. When I call a medical office on a Friday morning, call me crazy, but I expect they are open. Staff could just work shifts so each person has a day off. What a concept! Meanwhile, I have practically no client interaction other than via phone daily and my genius boss will not even let his staff work from home. So I called my dentist office on Monday to schedule something for that week that could work for me. There are location issues especially with my daughter in daycare near my office, some 13 miles from home. Anyway, I found it hard to believe when they told me they were closed on Tuesday for renovations. Hmmm… Tuesday and Friday now? Do you people ever work? That thought entered my mind and my sarcastic tone on the phone must have conveyed this sentiment. The biggest problem was when I asked for my charts and records especially X-rays. I cannot take X-rays right now so if I could get my chart – my chart being the operable phrase here, anyway, she told me they would need two days to prepare them. I told them to have the copies ready on Wednesday. All of a sudden, minutes later, the receptionist was able to find me an opening at 7am to do the filling. Interesting stuff.
I also recently found out that my husband called to get test results from X-rays taken over a week ago, and because he called on Friday, his podiatrist was closed too! Then, low and behold, she was out again on Monday when he called. No one, not even a nurse on call to give that information out. It is critical for him as he is hobbling around on a strange cast and in pain. You would think someone would have called him? No, these days unless your test results reveal mass lumps in your breast, no one will call you and even then, they will call you two weeks later. Call me crazy, but this all seems like medical malpractice to me. I told him to start seeing a doc who would be more readily available – like perhaps, five days a week!
Then, I had to deal with a sonographer last week who would not explain anything to me and would not even let me view the ultrasound as she was doing it – after all, why do I need to know anything about my body and my health? Someone will get back with me in a few weeks IF there is a reason to call. So, that’s it? What’s a woman gotta to do these days to get some information about her own frigging health?! I know this sounds like a ranting and raving blog but it is truly frustrating to work with professionals when you are not treated like one. I expect a doctor to call me, not a nurse with results, and take time to explain them. And if a nurse calls me with alarming news like my thyroid levels are off, I expect some explanation on why and some good medical advice on what to do next instead of, “here, here’s a good number for an endocrinologist…. Good luck!”
On the positive side, this past week, I saw a genetic counselor and an ultrasound tech who really knew their stuff. I learned about placenta previa, Nucul translucency, presence of a nasal bone, chromosomal defects, the difference between CVS and amnio, and amazing improvements in technology and medical equipment that have made amnios more safer than ever. I was amazed by this clinic. They took time to explain to me my body – imagine that! A medical professional who takes time to explain your options, educate you, and send you off feeling more empowered and more in control of your body and future than when you entered that office? Really? Is it possible? They even called me promptly to go over my results with me and took the time to explain those too. All I can say is that I am truly impressed by some medical professionals and offices more than others. I am looking for a new dentist but do not want new Xrays done so will need to wait til next year. And yes, if you are reading this blog, we are expecting sometime in late February. More blogs to follow on that topic…. ‘til then, do your homework and find doctors who make you comfortable, who spend time with you, and give you information on your options instead of treating you like a number, and ask when they are open…. Picking a good medical professional can really make a HUGE difference in your life – heck, as we learned by watching 60 minutes last night, it may even save it.